UN weather conference throws Taiwanese expert out

Peng blames pressure from China

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Weather expert Peng Chi-ming (left) at the World Meteorological Conference (photo from Peng's Facebook page)

Weather expert Peng Chi-ming (left) at the World Meteorological Conference (photo from Peng's Facebook page) (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwanese weather expert Peng Chi-ming (彭啟明) said Saturday (June 8) that pressure from China was responsible for the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) booting him out of its congress in Geneva.

Peng, a renowned former weather forecaster, now serves as the CEO of WeatherRisk Explore, a company he founded himself.

He had been invited as an observer to the June 3-14 World Meteorological Congress, but on June 6, he was suddenly informed that he would not be allowed to stay, and his credentials were taken away with force, the Central News Agency reported.

Peng said he had first joined a related organization, which told him he would be welcome at the congress in Geneva after registering with the WMO as an observer.

He had planned to attend sessions from June 5 to June 7, CNA reported. While everything went fine on the first day, on June 6, shortly after entering the meeting hall, a guard asked him to go to the secretariat, where they informed him only representatives of UN members could attend.

When asking whether China had been involved in the sudden change, a secretariat officials said he was not allowed to tell him, Peng said.

The expert emphasized he had not been funded by the Taiwan government but had paid for the whole trip himself. It was the first time since China joined the UN in 1971 that a Taiwanese citizen had attended at least part of a WMO conference, he said. A Taiwanese university professor who had also initially been invited received the same treatment as him, Peng said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized China for once again preventing Taiwan to participate in international meetings.